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Economic Development

The Show-Me State Games’ return expected to benefit Columbia economy


After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Show-Me-State Games are coming back to Columbia. This return will impact hospitality businesses that benefit from large events bringing people into the city.

Back in 2019, the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau reported more than 20,000 athletes were involved, bringing a total of about 57,000 people to Columbia. But last year, businesses missed out on the $10 million economic impact due to the pandemic.

Now, the games are back and a spokeswoman for the bureau, Megan McConachie, said this will have a huge impact on the recovering economy.

"This definitely brings people in to Columbia from all over our state, they come in they spend the night in our hotels, they dine in our restaurants, they shop in our stores so this does have a positive impact on our economy," McConachie said.

First with graduation and now moving into the summer with the Show-Me State Games, she said Columbia's economy is turning a corner.

"Having these kind of events like the Missouri State Senior games back in Columbia and running again this year definitely is going to affect especially those hospitality businesses who do depend on the larger influx of people into our community," McConachie said.

Volunteers are still needed for this weekend. The Missouri State Senior Games start Thursday and go through June 13. Show-Me State Games week one starts July 16 and week two starts July 23.

The annual sporting event is comprised of more than 40 events and held throughout Columbia.

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Zola Crowder

Zola Crowder joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in June 2020 after graduating from the University of Missouri with a broadcast journalism degree. Before reporting at ABC 17, Zola was a reporter at KOMU where she learned to cover politics, crime, education, economics and more.


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